Bills Improving Public Safety and Strengthening Tribal Cultural Preservation Signed Into Law
Highland and Hesperia, CA – The first two bills by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (Highland), AB 1183 and AB 1662, were signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. AB 1183 sets accountability for vessel operators and AB 1662 provides equity to Native American tribes to reclaim ancestral human remains and cultural items.
“I’m proud of the collaboration I’ve been able to have with my colleagues and the Governor to get these bills through the both legislative houses and signed into law. Clarifying who is held accountable when operating a boat reduces risky behavior on our waterways and gives law enforcement the ability to effectively patrol our waters. In addition, giving Native American tribes greater equity and rights to reclaim their ancestral artifacts will go a long way in repairing the relationship between tribes and the state of California,” said Assemblymember Ramos.
AB 1183 is a bipartisan bill joint-authored with Assemblymember Jay Obernolte (Hesperia) and sponsored by the California State Sheriff’s Association. The measure ensures that those who engage in reckless and dangerous behavior are held to account. It is not uncommon to find minors operating a vessel under the supervision of an adult who is under the influence. By closing the loophole of defining who is the operator, adults can now be held criminally liable for operating a vessel under the influence or for other violations, should an unlicensed, underage person be driving the boat.
“We are grateful to Assembly Members Ramos and Obernolte, the Legislature, and Governor Newsom for their commitment to boating safety,” said Sheriff David Livingston, president of the California State Sheriffs’ Association. “AB 1183 is an important bill that will help protect those who use our state’s waterways.”
AB 1662, joint-authored with Assemblymember Todd Gloria (San Diego) and member of the Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, will add an additional member of a California Native American tribe to the University of California Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Committee (Cal NAGPRA). This committee was established in 2001 to assist tribes reclaim ancestral human remains and cultural items, consisting of appointees with powers to mediate disputes, subpoena, and to levy civil penalties. Repatriation can be a major undertaking and a complex process. The addition of an additional voting member will give California Native Americans greater voice in recovering the remains and items of their ancestors.